Kemback Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 41720 15100, map


KY15 5TS


Kemback Parish Church was built in the early 19th century to replace a medieval original located nearby. It is located in the small village of Kemback, which is positioned on the side of a steep hillside with woods to the east and rolling farmland to the west. The church is aligned north-south in small garden grounds and overlooks the village green.

J Dowling 2017

Description (exterior)

The church was built in 1814 in a Gothic style. It has coursed rubble sandstone walls and a slate roof. A later porch was added on to the south gable. The principal elevation is the 3-bay west face, which has three tall, slender pointed-arch windows with chamfered margins. The windows have timber Y-tracery and clear panes of glass. The south gable has a fine bellcote on the apex with pointed-arch openings and a stone finial. The small gabled porch has a rectangular doorway in its west face and a small window in the south gable. There are no windows in the south gable of the church. The north gable has two pointed-arch windows that match those in the west elevation. The east elevation, built into the hillside has no windows and a small lean-to boiler house towards the northern end. There is a large stone war memorial in the grounds of the church.

J Dowling 2017

Description (interior)

The interior of Kemback Parish Church remains largely original, with a small gallery at the southern end and the pulpit in the north-east corner. There are wooden pews in the nave with two passageways that lead to the sanctuary at the north end of the church. The gallery has a wood-panelled front and is supported on a pair of wooden columns. It is accessed via a stair in the porch. The sanctuary area has elders' chairs and a fine communion table with trefoil openings and carved panels. At the front of the nave are family or laird's box pews with their own tables, a fairly rare surviving feature. There is a large round-arched niche in the east wall, in which is a commemorative urn.

J Dowling 2017

People / Organisations:

Gillespie and ScottArchitect1929-1930architects. The church received some alterations and refurbishment.
Church of ScotlandDenomination1814-NOW


  • Porch: Build/construction (1810 to 1814)
  • Church: Build/construction (1814)
    The church replaced an earlier building.
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1929 to 1930)
    The church was refurbished by Gillespie and Scott.
  • Church: Union (1970)
    Kemback Parish Church established a link with Dairsie.
  • Church: Union (1980)
    Kemback established a link with Strathkinness.

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 8877
Records of Kemback Kirk Session - HardcopyReference: GB 227 CH2/204
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 1205

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 257